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A developer hoping to rezone College Station property for commercial use on Highway 6 met strong resistance from residents. They're asking for the group to go back to the drawing board.
Houston-based Weingarten Realty took their plans to residents east of Highway 6 near Rock Prairie just weeks before they go to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The developers' plans: to put in major commercial business, likely a Super Wal-Mart, along with other big business and restaurants.
Monday, they got what they wanted: feedback, except it was mostly negative.
"This is totally an inappropriate site for big box retail," said one resident. "Totally inappropriate." That response, like most, was met with prolonged applause.
"If I'm in their shoes, I certainly understand their concerns as a neighborhood," said Brent Mann, a senior vice president with Weingarten. "We acted on what we thought the city of College Station had in their master plan, and that's what brought us here to where we are today."
Chief among the concerns was traffic impact on nearby neighborhoods.
"You're still talking about 400,000 square feet of retail at this corner that has horrible traffic problems as it is," said one resident.
Another added, "The market's gone south, so we're going to sit there on those houses while all this traffic goes down Stonebrook and Foxfire."
"You've got it as close to a residential section as you can get," said a third resident.
Mann countered with their plan for a road they'd build through the complex, one which they believe will keep traffic flows safe and steady. "It is my belief that the circulation will be created in the center and will not lead to a lot of traffic flowing through those various subdivisions," he said.
But retail value and neighborhood integrity were also high on the list of concerns, one's which residents vow to continue voicing in this case.
The developers are hoping to take their request for rezoning to the Planning and Zoning Commission July 6. If approved, it would be in compliance with the city's comprehensive plan from 2002.
Many of those residents are also keep their eye on development along Sebesta Road on the other side their development.